Presented by Marshall Thomas
Every day, a program of cell death called apoptosis destroys millions of cells in our bodies. Though it sounds morbid and scary, apoptosis is critical for keeping us healthy by removing old and damaged cells. This staves off cancer and infections. I’m interested in apoptosis because of its obvious applications to human health and disease, but also because the cell death program is a simple yet elegant process. Apoptosis is a great example of how simple parts are assembled together in biological systems to perform complex tasks. The theme of complex systems emerging from simple components occurs everywhere we look in the tree of life. I think that studying cell death will help us understand the mysteries of life. In this lecture, I introduce the apoptosis program and my own research on cell death.